VSA Minister Omar Ottley (right) during his meeting with CPS on Monday.
PHILIPSBURG--Collective Prevention Services (CPS) is monitoring the international situation with monkeypox closely and said it will communicate all relevant updates to the public in a timely manner. No case has been detected in St. Maarten.
Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Omar Ottley met with CPS on Monday, May 23, to discuss the monkeypox virus outbreak.
Monkeypox, a virus that is usually found in rodents, marsupials and monkeys, has been detected in humans in a number of countries worldwide. So far, 92 cases have been recorded across 12 countries. This number is likely to grow, but monkeypox has not been detected in St. Maarten, it was made clear in a press statement issued late Monday night.
The monkeypox virus is transmitted from person to person by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
Those infected with monkeypox often have the following symptoms: fever; headache; back pain; muscle soreness; weakness; swollen lymph nodes; a rash beginning on face then spreading elsewhere, followed by lesions or pustules. If individuals experience any of these symptoms, please visit your general practitioner.
Monkeypox disease is rarely severe and, in most cases, resolves in 2-4 weeks without treatment. However, those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk and could require hospitalisation.
Monkeypox is different from impetigo (a skin infection caused by a bacterium that is common in the Netherlands). The name monkeypox is frequently used for impetigo on the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao and in Suriname.
“Please be sure to check your information sources carefully and do not spread misinformation about the disease,” CPS urged. “The best websites to follow are the World Health Organization, US Centers for Disease Control and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM.
“CPS is monitoring the international situation closely and will communicate all relevant updates to the public in a timely manner. Please remember to visit your general practitioner if you are feeling unwell.”
“Although the virus has not reached the shores of St. Maarten, we are taking preventative measures to assure maximum safety against this virus,” Ottley said.